3 up, 3 down: Dodgers 7, Rockies 3
May, 11, 2012
By Tony Jackson | ESPNLosAngeles.com
LOS ANGELES -- Veteran left-hander Chris Capuano, arguably the Los Angeles Dodgers' best starting pitcher so far this year, continued his impressive early-season run with seven outstanding innings as the Dodgers rolled to a 7-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies before 35,591 on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.
Capuano gave up a run on four hits and struck out three without a walk, manager Don Mattingly lifting him to begin the eighth because Capuano had thrown 103 pitches.
Capuano ran his record to 5-0 and shaved his ERA to 2.06. The Dodgers (21-11) extended their lead in the National League West to six games over the second-place San Francisco Giants.
Web gems. Juan Uribe made nice defensive plays in each of the first two innings, including a sliding stop of a hard grounder by Marco Scutaro to begin the game and a lunging play to his left to get a force at second on Ramon Hernandez in the second. That one would have been an inning-ending double play, but Todd Helton slid hard into second, forcing Mark Ellis to make an off-line relay to first.
Long time coming. Ellis finally hit his first home run of the season, a shot into the left field bullpen off Jamie Moyer in the first inning, snapping a string of 35 consecutive games for Ellis, dating to last season, without one. Ellis hit six homers in 286 plate appearances for the Rockies last year after they acquired him in a mid-season trade with Oakland, but didn't hit one for the Dodgers until his 124th plate appearance of the season. As if that weren't enough, later in the game, Uribe hit his first homer since last June 20.
Warming up. Andre Ethier had a huge game for the dodgers, including a double and run scored in the fourth, an RBI single in the fifth and a solo homer to straightaway center in the seventh. Ethier is now hitting .364 (12-for-33) in May, with four doubles, two homers eight runs scored and eight RBI.
Pass the Geritol. His 50th birthday might be looming in the fall, but Moyer completely dominated the Dodgers in the early going. He retired 11 of the first 12 batters, the exception being Ellis' home run, with five strikeouts and three infield popups. The string finally was broken when Ethier lined a two-out double of the base of the wall in right-center with two outs in the fourth.
Overmatched. Dee Gordon continued to struggle in the leadoff spot, those struggles possibly having now reached their nadir. Although Gordon did have an eight-game hitting streak earlier this month, he now has gone 0-for-10 with four strikeouts in the two games since that streak, including taking a called third strike from Rockies reliever Carlos Torres to end the sixth inning with runners on second and third.
All good things must end. Capuano continued to dominate in a way no one could have envisioned before the season, but he did give up a solo homer to Michael Cuddyer with two outs in the seventh, snapping a personal string of 24 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings. Capuano had pitched a combined 13 2/3 shutout innings, allowing six hits, over his previous two starts. He still hasn't allowed more than one run in a start since April 18 and hasn't allowed more than two runs in a start since April 7, his first start of the season.